The ultimate girls’ weekend activity hosted 366 women in Moab on Saturday, June 2. The Thelma and Louise Half-Marathon is a scenic race down potash road and has been a popular destination race for several years.
“Because a girls' weekend should include an exciting challenge,” is the claim that Mad Moose events appeals to the event. Playing to the theme, runners were asked trivia questions about the movie and were able to choose a label of either “Thelma” or “Louise” for their bibs. Starting and finishing at the Corona Arch parking lot, the half-marathon can be done as either an individual race or a two-person relay, accommodating a wide variety of skill levels.
“It is really inspirational to be around so many women of all ages, abilities and sizes. We were all just there to do our best and kick butt,” Amber Rushton, one of the participants, said. Rushton, of Salida, Colo., traveled to the race with a group of others who have made it an annual girls’ trip for the past four years. According to Rushton, a number of factors collided to make the all-female event a uniquely enjoyable event.
“The temperature was just right,” Rushton explained. “There were drummers in the middle of the race on the sideline, and that was really awesome to see.” She continued, “As we ran by each other we would pump each other up or say “great job!” High fives were exchanged between runners as they passed each other.”
The awards ceremony took place in the Gold Bar parking lot, giving participants the opportunity to take a refreshing post-race swim in the Colorado River. Utah resident Sharley Dimick of Syracuse, Utah, finished first overall in a time of 1:34.18. Eight Moab runners completed the race, including Charlene Stash, the first of the locals to cross the finish line.
For many of the participants, it was more than just a race. It was an opportunity to feel strong, run hard, and support one another, a factor which has led many who participate to continue to return to the event. “It was such an awesome weekend,” Rushton said. “I am so happy that I went.”